Style Profile: Rafay Rashid

Composed classic with a rebellious twist


How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is formal rock n’ roll. I think this style is a strange mixture of various elements across decades that complement yet contradict each other in a way that’s confusing but, hopefully, familiar and interesting to the eye. Usually I’m thinking about whether I have to stop for gas en route to practice while picking an outfit. If it’s the night of a show, I’ll usually put on one of our signature handmade-in-Pakistan vests over the standard uniform.

Where do you like to shop?
Express is pretty good for standard dress attire. Honestly, I acquire most of my clothing from friends and family. Sometimes it feels like we’re all just swapping through a collective wardrobe. I tend to see my articles of clothing to the bitter end; so shopping is a pretty rare activity for me. 

Rock n’ roll is often about not caring what you wear. But you take the time to tuck in your shirt and put on a tie. Why?
I just like the universality of a black tie and white shirt, tucked. You can go anywhere and not feel out of place. I’m also influenced by mob movies, mod rockers and enjoy the juxtaposition of the wild and tame put together. Also, the shirt probably won’t stay tucked for long. Mainly, I think that the “careless look” of rock n’ roll is a somewhat recent phenomenon that betrays the time and effort put into the aesthetic of our rock n’ roll ancestors.

Black tie, white shirt, black pants – that’s about as basic as it gets. How do you make it your own and really stand out?
Brown skin! In addition to that, wearing slim fit, skinny tie, weird socks, rips and tears, leather jackets, paint stains and whatever else that wouldn’t be allowed in the service industry.

There are few things as classic as a black leather jacket. Where did you get this one and what attracted you to it?
It’s a company called Angry, Young, and Poor. They have a website where they sell really tight jackets on the (relatively) cheap. This one, coincidentally, was made in Pakistan, where they’re a lot angrier and poorer on the whole. Still, I’ve sporadically bought threads on this website since I was a young wannabe rebel.

The briefcase stands out as an accessory choice...
The briefcase belongs to my grandfather who was a journalist in Pakistan. He’s still there and his name is engraved in gold lettering. It was bequeathed unto me and I think it looks great. It has a red velvet interior. I used it for carrying stuff back at school and also as a prop for a poetry/ stand-up routine. Ironically, I do work in a psychiatric of- fice part-time, but don’t use the briefcase.